On 3 May 1932, the Tanjong Pagar KTM railway station was completed and officially opened by Sir Cecil Clementi. For 79 years, it served the general populace till its closure on 1 July 2011. it served the general populace for 79 years. Tanjong Pagar KTM station has ceased been reserved as the Singapore Railway Museum. But what happened to the railway lines that ran from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands and beyond?
Click here for a brief history of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station by Wikipedia. Or here, for more info by the Urban Development Authority (URA). [I suggest you visit the Rail Corridor website by URA on the second link.]
Watch this Video: The Green Corridor
The Rail Corridor thus resulted, under the Green Corridor campaign run by the Nature Society of Singapore. Green Corridor is a concentrated effort to preserve the rail-trail exactly as it was for heritage and us locals wanting to have a jolly good hike/biking session. A large part of the railway lines were dismantled and returned by KTM to Malaysia. The result is a long, lush green trail with a barren patch running through the middle in place of the former railway tracks.
The Rail Corridor trail runs for technically 24km, stretching down the whole corridor from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Woodlands Train Checkpoint (where the current KTM station is).
According to the video above, some pretty interesting points have been raised on why the Green-Rail-Corridor (I’m using names interchangeably) is, and should exist on:
- It’s one of Singapore’s most cherished, understated and green stretches of land. One who can’t get enough of Nature can “recharge” by going on this hike/bike. I recommend mountain bikes – it’s a fairly straight stretch with lots of sandy, uneven and bumpy areas to go. No slopes, according to research. There’ll be some parts you can or cannot cycle.
- It is a paradox of sorts, being in the city without being in it. Literally, you run alongside it.
- The Rail Corridor is Singapore’s ecological spine, stretching (figuratively) the entire nation. It is 10 times longer than New York’s The High Line. 122 access points will be set up along various points of the trail to facilitate accessibility.
- People can enjoy the rich biodiversity of Singapore’s wildlife and be with wildlife in the same area.Selfishly for me, it’s a perfect chance to get away from my phone. 🙂
Says Sri, a resident who uses the Corridor frequently: “The Rail Corridor is our outdoor living room”
According to this blog, there are 8 stretches that the Rail Corridor covers:
- Start of the line at the Southern end (Tanjong Pagar/Silat Walk)
- Silat Walk to Masjid Hang Jebat (Portsdown area)
- Masjid Hang Jebat (Portsdown area) to Bukit Timah Railway Station
- Bukit Timah Railway Station to Rail Mall (refreshment time!)
- Rail Mall to Junction 10 (refreshment no 2)
- Junction 10 to Sungei Kadut
- Sungei Kadut to Mandai RiverThe adventurous and perhaps not-so-law-abiding can take the final, rather forbidden stretch:
- Mandai River to Woodlands Centre
However, do note that the Southern end has been closed for PUB pipeline works, which will be carried out in phases till 2019. You may encounter some blockages/construction there, so it’s necessary to take detours. The Northern end remains open and users can enjoy the following places/landmarks of interest: Former Bukit Timah Fire Station, Old Ford Factory, Old Bridge near Bukit Timah Reserve, Steel Truss Bridge near Rail Mall, Saint Joseph’s Church, Sri Murugan Hill Temple and so on.
Read this avid traveler-blogger’s account of the now defunct railway HERE.
Read the URA’s handy PDF guide here.